LB Jaylon Smith Joins Saints’ Practice Squad

AUGUST 30: The veteran linebacker, indeed, will not be leaving New Orleans. His plus preseason cameo will lead to a spot on the Saints’ practice squad,’s Ian Rapoport tweets.

AUGUST 29: While Jaylon Smith had impressed since signing with the Saints earlier this month, he will not be part of the team’s 53-man roster today. New Orleans will release the veteran linebacker, Nick Underhill of tweets.

Smith retains practice squad eligibility, with teams having up to six spots to give to vested veterans on those 16-man units. Teams will begin assembling their P-squads soon. It will be interesting to see if Smith winds up back with the Saints ahead of Week 1, but for now, the former Cowboys starter is a free agent again.

Teams also commonly release vested veterans for guarantee purposes, as these players’ salaries become guaranteed days before Week 1, or to protect a younger player from being exposed to waivers. With Alvin Kamara set to be moved off the roster — due to the three-game suspension he recently received — at least one spot will soon be open.

Spending last season with the Giants, Smith worked out for the Raiders earlier this summer. But he landed with the Saints on August 10. A special teams role for Smith appeared on the Saints’ radar, and that may still be the case. Demario Davis and Pete Werner lead New Orleans’ linebacking corps, with 2020 third-rounder Zack Baun still in the mix as well.

Since the Cowboys cut bait on Smith’s six-year extension in 2021, he has bounced around. He spent the ’21 season with three teams — the Cowboys, Packers and Giants — but found some footing in New York. The Giants circled back to Smith, via a September 2022 signing, and used him as an 11-game starter. The Giants did not feature especially good inside linebacker play last season, and they have since added Bobby Okereke and Isaiah Simmons.

The Saints have been busy with veterans today. They informed Bradley Roby of a release and traded longtime kicker Wil Lutz to the Broncos, reuniting him with Sean Payton.

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